Ohio is one of the latest states to respond to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s request for additional resources to help secure the Texas border. In total 14 Republican governors have announced they will support the effort with troops or other resources. The states committed to providing assistance include Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In a letter dated May 16, Governor Abbott asked fellow governors to join Texas and help secure the border through the work of Operation Lone Star, Texas’ border security plan. Abbott’s letter reads in part:
President Joe Biden’s negligent disregard for America’s national security hit another devastating milestone last week when his Administration ended Title 42 expulsions. Since taking office, President Biden has willfully refused to enforce our nation’s immigration laws while systematically dismantling every effective border security policy that previously led to the lowest number of illegal border crossings in decades. The resultant surge in illegal immigration and transnational criminal activity is a direct consequence of these misguided actions, and yet President Biden further jeopardized our nation’s security by ending Title 42 expulsions on May 11, 2023.
Governor DeWine responds
In response, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine authorized a contingent of 14 troopers and supervisors from the Ohio State Highway Patrol to assist local law enforcement in Texas with border surveillance. They will not be tasked with making arrests.
Ohio has had presence on border since 2020
According to a press release, this is the second group of troopers to respond to support Texas law enforcement in nearly two years. Ohio has had a continuous presence on the border since October 2020, when Governor DeWine deployed approximately 115 members of the Ohio National Guard to support the Southwest Border operations at the request of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Guard Bureau. Since that time, Governor DeWine has additionally deployed nearly 325 Ohio National Guard members to Texas, with 125 of those guard members remaining at the border on active duty today. A new rotation of 50 Ohio National Guard members is scheduled to deploy to Texas in October 2023.
The Ohio governor has said that what happens at the southern border of the United States impacts Ohio. He has been quoted as saying, “I can tell you that the vast majority, almost all the drugs that are coming into the state of Ohio come across the southern border. So we have a real interest in securing the southern border.”
The influx of fentanyl continues to escalate
So far this fiscal year which end September 30, Border Patrol has seized a record 17,000 pounds of fentanyl at the southern border more than triple the total amount seized in all of fiscal year 2020.
For perspective, federal border agents seized over a ton of fentanyl, over 2,000 pounds, in a series of operations from March 6th to May 8th. This amount alone could have killed over 450 million persons, according recent report. A lethal dose of fentanyl can be as small as two milligrams of the substance.
Americans believe states will have to fix the border problem
In a recent poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group for Convention of States Action almost 87 percent of Americans blame the federal government for the border crisis; however, they also believe that the states will have to step in to solve the problem because they do not believe the federal government will do it.
The polls specifically asked, “With local and state government law enforcement resources overwhelmed by the large increase in illegal immigrants and asylum seekers needing assistance and increased drug cartel activity,” respondents were prompted, “Do you believe it is the responsibility of states or the Federal government to handle these increased costs at the southern border?”
Among Republicans, 91 percent said it was the federal government’s responsibility. Surprisingly, only slightly fewer Democrats, 83 percent, gave the same response.
“I’ve never seen a poll like this — 87 percent of the American public blames the federal government for the problem at the border,” President of Convention of States Action Mark Meckler recently said. “So it’s almost 90 percent of people blame the federal government. And they expect that the states are going to have to fix it. They don’t believe that the federal government’s going to fix the problem.”